MARVEL RISING #0 / Writer: Devin Grayson / Artist: Marco Failla / Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Cover Art: Helen Chen / Publisher: Marvel / April 25, 2018
Marvel Rising, a new multi-platform franchise, dropped a breezy fun (and free!) comic this week with Marvel Rising #0. Can Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel save the day when a field trip goes sideways? Spoilers: Yes, they can! The Marvel Rising comics will be joined by four digital shorts and a feature film later this year. Developing and marketing this franchise to all ages is smart. In our house, my eldest daughter has outgrown DC’s Superhero Girls franchise and this looks to be a great new world for her to enjoy; Hell, for both of us to enjoy. I love most of these characters and hope to love them all in the future.
Marvel Rising #0 draws us in with two of the eight leading characters, Doreen Green/Squirrel Girl and Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel. Squirrel Girl is beloved in our home. We have every single issue of Erica Henderson and Ryan North’s righteously energetic tale of Doreen Green’s adventures as a full time college student/superhero. Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel is a favorite with my students. They all feel pressure to be amazing in so many ways, while still being so young, and Kamala is a hero that resonates with them. She struggles the way they do, and copes the way they wish they could. From the start, I’m impressed with the line up, which also includes: Gwen Stacy/Ghost Spider, Daisy Johnson/Quake, Dante Pertuz/Inferno, America Chavez/Ms. America, Rayshaun Lucas/Patriot, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel. Not to mention animal sidekicks like Lockjaw and Tippy Toe!
As a teacher, one of my greatest fears is having everything go to Hell while on a field trip with students. In Marvel Rising #0, Doreen appears in her new volunteer position, working with high school kids and coding. She takes the kids out to the “Howard Anthony Stark Center for Technological Excellence” on a tour. From the first moment, it all feels familiar. Teens, out in public with their teacher, are a weird bunch. Always a mix of too cool to be interested (but are actually interested), snarky, sassy, and morose. Of course, everything falls to chaos when A.I.M. appears, in search of “exceptional” (read Mutant/Inhuman) students to join their ranks. How convenient to have two heroes on hand to get things sorted!
Beyond accessible characters and storylines, the art in Marvel Rising #0 sets an engaging, youthful tone I welcome, moving forward. I just finished showing some love to Rachelle Rosenberg’s art in Tales of Suspense, so I’m thrilled to find her at work here. Both Marco Failla and Rachelle Rosenberg have an interesting challenge moving forward. How do you interpret a character like Doreen and Kamala who come from their own books? Where do you find the balance between audience expectation and creative storytelling freedom? There’s a reason these two are professionals, because they had no problem visualizing Kamala. They capture the truth of a teenage girl blessed and burdened with the life in front of her. For the most part, I feel they got Doreen right. Her energy and attitude were spot on. I’d argue that Doreen should be drawn a little thicker, but I’ll wait and see how that plays out.
They introduce new character, Ember Quad, in an intriguing manner that caught my attention. As someone who teaches high school, I feel I can safely say she looks like a real life high school kid. That’s refreshing. Too often I see characters in high school look like the 24 year old actor they are. From the ombre hair color, the piercings, the eye makeup, the indignant eyebrow cocked, all of it rings true. I’m hoping we get more of Ember in the future and all evidence points to that being the case.
Marvel Rising #0 does everything it should. We meet some kick-butt characters and proceed to see them kick butt on an old nemesis. And they have fun doing it. Both my girls and I look forward to enjoying the Marvel Rising universe as it expands this year.
VERDICT: 5 Out Of 5
I’m a curious, creative, comic(al) woman. I am unapologetically Team Cap, but not HydraCap because there is a line in the moral sands of the universe and that whole thing is on the other side of it. I teach high school students all about the joys of mythology through comic books, graphic novels, and films. I wandered into the comic book world in 2015 and is a proud member of the #DoYouEvenComicBook gang.